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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:33 pm
Posts: 8
robertmacdowell wrote:
Based on a font perhaps, but with more elements, as GSMR did in the above logo. .


While I agree that it's ideal to create an original typeface for branding identity, GSMR appears to have used the "Hoboken" font verbatim. Tweaking or creating a unique font for a brand is likely most prudent to larger companies, susceptible to litigious action. Based on what I've seen, most railroad museums tend to use stock fonts or something adapted from their home railroad's standards book.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2455
Location: S.F. Bay Area
msrlha_archivist wrote:
While I agree that it's ideal to create an original typeface for branding identity, GSMR appears to have used the "Hoboken" font verbatim.

Appears. Bet the kerning was hand tweaked, especially in the curves.

Quote:
Tweaking or creating a unique font for a brand is likely most prudent to larger companies, susceptible to litigious action. Based on what I've seen, most railroad museums tend to use stock fonts or something adapted from their home railroad's standards book.

You make it sound hard. I'm replying to claim the opposite: it's rather easy. You're talking an hour in Illustrator if you already know the app. Maybe 8 if you don't, and then you gain a skill.


Your hand-wringing over litigation is wrong but understandable: Typeface law is weird. A typeface is a shape and cannot be copyrighted. That is firmly ensconced in US law and isn't going anywhere. A font is a computer-language description of a typeface, and that language is copyrighted as software. That's why hand-tracing cancels font copyrights. If you hand-retrace in Adobe Illustrator or Fontographer, you create all new computer language, and you are the original author of a new font (or logo). Hey, I didn't make the law.

The safest course is to hand-trace a font you like *and then alter it*. The tracing severs the copyright. The alteration makes it clear you've done so.

If we do what you say, use a commercial font, this happens.

1. Graphic artist designs your logo, uses Frutiger straight-up and gives you a vector art drawing of the rendered and kerned logo. (she's licensed for that). You must use this vector art file as the logo.
2. Aforementioned egotistical fool can't figure out how to put it in Word.
3. Fool discovers font is Frutiger. Fool pirates it off BitTorrent rather than buying and just types the letters.
4. Frutiger winds up in many documents, including some on the Web.
5. Linotype routinely scans the Web for PDFs embedding their fonts.
6. BUSTED.


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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:33 pm
Posts: 8
robertmacdowell wrote:
Appears. Bet the kerning was hand tweaked, especially in the curves.


The kerning was modified and the character set was slightly condensed in the GSMR logo. Other than that, it's apparent that this logo's lettering likely originated from the same font as specified above. Whether or not someone retraced the letters in a vector program is, of course, unknown. However the comparison below looks to be a dead ringer.

Despite your condescending tone, I've never advocated for anyone to use a commercial font that they don't hold a license for. If said designer modifies a font such as Frutiger for use in a logo and said fool still downloads an illegal copy because it's "close enough" to the original appearance of the logo, then the result is still the same.

The bottom line is be original and create a brand for your entity that is both unique and creative.


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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:38 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 907
Quote:
"However the comparison below looks to be a dead ringer."


Right down to the crappy excuse for kerning: 'spam in a can' to within a couple of points. I'd say not only was this Hoboken, it was 'curved' to fit using a comparatively-early type manipulation program, and not further adjusted, at least by someone concerned with typographic esthetics.

Naturally tinkering with the kerning or distorting a slug of text to fit a curved baseline, even when necessary, wouldn't change the need for a license. And if you really like that font, why isn't it fair and just to acquire a license or rights to use that particular face, now that you know what it is and who has the rights?

Just do a better job with it than the GMSRR's logo designer did! ;-}

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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:18 pm 
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Posts: 147
Location: Orrville, OH
As an independent graphic designer, I have to be of aware copyrights, licenses and how they work. I never use embedded fonts to avoid issues with software licenses. Sometimes I may use a typeface as a rough basis to draw a custom lettering set, thus avoiding any potential hassles. Typefaces can't be copyrighted in the U.S. though fonts as software can, but international agreements may muddy that up a bit. So I avoid using fonts and and others' typefaces as much as possible. Once my custom typeface is incorporated into a logo, the entire logo then becomes copyrighted.

If you have an interest and eight minutes to burn, here's a link to a YouTube video that explains the legal issues in layman terms with using fonts and typefaces:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EzmLTElAYQ&t=1s

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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2455
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Thank you. The Youtube video nailed it, and at 6:25 agrees with both of us about hand-tracing to remove all "fonts" from your logo.

I also like to alter characters not only to break face, but to add personality and make it look right optically. Stuff like the New York Central's freemason symbol are cool.

Overmod wrote:
Naturally tinkering with the kerning or distorting a slug of text to fit a curved baseline, even when necessary, wouldn't change the need for a license.

It boils down to the hand-trace. Here's how you tell: You've never seen an ugly PDF, and that's because PDFs *embed* the fonts (or fractions of fonts) used in the document, and the metadata includes the name and author of the font. So you make a PDF of your artwork and use an editor to examine the meta-data. If the font is mentioned, you better be able to prove that you have a license to that font.

It's not in the buying, it's in the proving, when the copyright trolls come a-knockin'. Sure, former member Joe Graphicartist who created the logo was licensed at the time he created it, but do you have that license on file today?

It's a legal encumbrance. It's like an easement, or a dirty title. It's not 100% yours, it's tainted. It could explode on you like a dirty title.

Aside from the primary reasons I mentioned earlier, it's good to get rid of the taint.

This has nothing to do with artist compensation. Embedding the font in the PDF doesn't pay them.

Quote:
And if you really like that font, why isn't it fair and just to acquire a license or rights to use that particular face, now that you know what it is and who has the rights?

Absolutely. I assume you'll agree the priority is compensating artists. Real simple: Either you paid the artist, or you didn't.

How do you pay for the music you listen to? That's a big ugly mess, as you may know. Live concerts and merchandise are mostly reliable (except for 360 deals, ugh.) Paying them is harder than you think.

The artistry is actually in the typeface, not the font. Turning a typeface into a font is a couple hours of auto-tracing and kerning. So you presumably want to pay the artist who created the typeface, not some two-bit cloner -- so provenance matters.

Pull down your fonts menu, see "Segoe UI"? Comes with Windows 7. Feel OK using it? Because it's a clone of Frutiger. Microsoft paid Agfa Monotype to clone Frutiger. No kidding, two major corporations involved in this! Mac users, two words: Apple Chancery.

If it comes with one of those 10 dollar "1000 fonts" CDs, do you need to determine the provenance of the typeface you love, and pay the original creator? I would say "Yes".

And then we have all those fonts on RailFonts, where a font cloner (or mere distributor) has the audacity to want money for typefaces they definitely did not create. But that's alright, yes? Anyway why spite them what amounts to beer money at most.

But I hope you got the upshot. This whole field is a morass. All the more reason I want none of it encumbering my logo! I want it to be all mine.

And that has nothing to do with tracing. Either you *actually paid the artist*, or you didn't.

In Europe, typefaces do carry some copy rights. All the more reason to tweak your logo's font so it is a custom piece instead of a stock font. font.


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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 152
My apologies for letting this fall so far behind. I haven't had much free time lately due to studying training materials for work. I want to thank you all for your contributions. Rest assured that I'm not copying the logo for the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Far from it, actually. The president of the organization simply expressed an interest in that font and wanted to see if I could get something similar to use in our logo.


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 Post subject: Re: Help looking for a font
PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:25 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1896
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Who knew we had so many professional artists in our midst?

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